You’ve got your Internet TV service, now do it a, err, service and pimp up your home theatre for an impressive cinematic experience. Right in your very own home.
Internet TV services like Netflix, Stan, Presto and Quickflix are making TV shows and movies so much more accessible, it’s hard to justify why anyone wouldn’t tap into the immense libraries of entertainment they offer at rock bottom prices.
But can it rival the cinematic experience you get from the floor-to-ceiling screens and surround sound that movie theatres offer? With the highest quality equipment and the most luxurious of couches, our answer is: why not? Plus, you won’t have to deal with that jammering somebody sitting behind you, that head of hair sitting in front of you, and that icky sticky popcorn and coke floor. Winning? Hells, yeah!
Image: Ted, available to stream on Quickflix
What do you need for the ultimate home theatre?
1. An Internet TV provider
First off, you need an Internet TV service. OK, while this isn’t mandatory, it’s definitely a reason to go all out in the home theatre department. Most streaming services offer free trials, so why not test and sample the lot? Get started here:
Download the latest TV shows and movies with iTunes
Foxtel two weeks free trial
Get free trial for two weeks now at Foxtel Play
2. The biggest, most badass TV
No surprises here. While you could stream your entertainment on your computer, tablet or even phone, why would you when you could invest in one big bad screen? No reason whatsoever. Clear your wall of all that clutter (paintings, bookshelves, you know the drill) and slap one of these babies in its place.
3. The sickest home theatre system
4. The best entertainment unit
5. The plushest, comfiest sofa (or beanbag)
6. Movie memorabilia. And lots of it.
7. Footstools and cushions. These aren’t a privilege, they’re a right
8. Snacks and drinks. Make sure these are just an arm’s reach away
The best deals to create your home theatre
Top tips to make the ultimate home theatre
Now that you have all your kit, make it work in your favour. Like Sheldon, there really is a sweet spot in the cinema to capture all the epic adventure through all the senses. But for those of us who aren’t so attuned to our OCD senses, here’s some quick tips to experiencing entertainment exceptionally in your home theatre.
- Get the room shape right: Room shape plays a big part (there’s a reason it’s called surround sound). Square rooms tend to cause sound distortion, so aim for a rectangular room for an optimal listening experience.
- Board up them windows: No joke. On top of helping to contain sound, choosing a room with less windows means less outside light and less reflections. But if you can’t board them up, a good layer of heavy curtains can work wonders. As for walls? You don’t need to splurge on anything special, but keep them painted dark to reduce reflections and, but if you can invest in acoustic wall paneling to absorb certain frequencies and reduce echoes, go right ahead.
- Get the speakers right: Speaker placement is uber important to the cinematic experience. Typical home theatres feature 5.1 surround sound. The general idea is to place three speakers and the woofer down the front of your theatre, two at the back (right behind the viewing area) and you’ll also want to keep them a good metre away from the walls to reduce echoes. Don’t be afraid to throw a stick at our suggestions here - each room is shaped differently and will react differently to sound, so play around until you reach Sheldon-like perfection.
- Screen angle: Yes, there are angles to view your screen at which will increase comfort and decrease eye movement (woohoo!) And they are 30-40 degrees. In short, draw a triangle from the edges of your display to your nose and you should be creating angles of between these amounts. This works in conjunction with your viewing height...
- Viewing height: Stay front on - so eye level. Seems logical, but we just have to remind you, it’s the nicest and most comfortable way to view your flicks.
- Viewing distance: Again, another one that you need to think of. Without getting too technical, multiply the diagonal of your screen by 1.5 and 2.5 and that will be the range for distance you should be away from it to see it nicely without too much angle distortion.
And now… to the movies!
Read more: How to set up Netflix at home